While Lambda School has been amazing so far, it’s not without Its difficulties and hardships. With that said, Lambda has been the most amazing educational experience of my life and I’m extremely happy to be a part of the program!
The first week sets the tone for the rest of the course as far as I can tell and it sets it very well! There really isn’t much to dislike about Lambda School. The only thing that gave me a bit of a headache was during day two we were learning about user interfaces and created a web page to match a design file. The issue I had with this project was not being given the best tools to complete this job. We were told that we could not use CSS flex boxes to do this project which made it a lot more annoying to do. Overall, I understood why it needed to be learned on that day but it just gave me a headache and was by far my least favorite part of the first week.
Let’s get into how the actual week went from start to finish. I won’t mention every single thing but if you’d like a more in-depth view you can check out this video about my first day at Lambda School!
If you’d like to watch a video over my first week instead, see the video below!
Overview: User Interface I
Subview: Using HTML & CSS to build web pages
The first day was a real eye-opener for me. I’ve never been a fan of school even though I’ve always loved learning and have made a point to learn every day of my life. I don’t feel like school and learning go hand in hand and I never have. School is where you go when you don’t want to become an adult for the next four years. You’ll learn a bit about what you want to do, mostly you just learn things you’ll never need to know in your career. Lambda School is totally different. You spend nine months learning things that you will use every day of your life as a full stack developer.
Day one we learned about the use of semantic HTML which you can find out more about here. A brief explanation of it is writing your HTML in such a way that it’s easy to read by humans, search engines (like Google), and the machine your working with.
When it came to the use of CSS selectors it was new to me to some extent but for the most part it was very easy and straight forward!
Overall, day 1 at Lambda School flowed really smoothly and I loved every second of it!
Overview: User Interface II
Subview: Using CSS to space a web page out properly using the box method & inline
This was by far, my least favorite day of Lambda School to date and for really good reason…
The day started out with us learning about the box method (shown below)
This model is used constantly by developers when using CSS to make their websites look pretty. What we learned next was what ruined the day though. We learned about the inline-block property which has its uses; however, it’s not great for spacing and positioning a web page the way you’d like. For that, you’d use a flex-box instead. It’s much more intuitive and easy to use for responsive web design.
For our project on day two, we were given a design file that showed us exactly what we were supposed to create (it was a homepage) and all we were given was a massive block of text. The text didn’t have any HTML, CSS, or even pictures added to it yet. We went through and added all of these things and had to position things exactly how they wanted it.
While this didn’t take too extremely long to accomplish, it was extremely tedious and I did not enjoy it very much. I actually had a headache by the end of the day due to the nature of the assignment. It turns out, day two is designed to be a pain so you appreciate day three…is that an evil ideology? Yes, but it sure worked a treat for day three!
Overview: User Interface III
Subview: Using flexboxes to create a home page for a website.
I’ve been ad Lambda School for only about a week but day three is by far my favorite day so far! Day two really makes you appreciate what you learn about in day three and makes you even more excited to use the flexbox to create a web page because it allows you to do it seamlessly and naturally. The best part is when you’re done, it’s a responsive display! Check it out here!
Flexboxes are amazing and they’re one of the reasons why I’ve begun to really enjoy using CSS and learning about it. Next week, we learn more about advanced CSS properties. I’m actually going to begin creating tutorials and guides for software development over on my YouTube channel here.
I’ll also be doing a few videos over flexboxes in the near future! :)
Here’s an example of how to use a flexbox. This example isn’t to show how a flexbox should be used but just the syntax of it in a live example. Thanks to the “justify-content: space-between” line, it will actually space out the items in the nav evenly though.
This isn’t a good example because it’s not making anything actually flex within the flexbox. If you’re interested to know more about flexboxes subscribe on youtube at the link above and stay tuned!
Overview: Git & Github (Version Control)
Subview: Learning about the CLI (Command Line Interface), Git, and Github.
Github is an absolutely amazing tool that almost all software engineers/developer use in their day to day lives at work. The ones who don’t use Github will still use some form of version control but they may use BitBucket instead or some other form of version control.
Day four was a fun day and challenging for a lot of the Lambda School students. For me, it was a recap on something I’ve used constantly for the past four years of my life. I finished my project before lunch and had the rest of the day off!
Overall, version control and knowledge of the CLI and version control is extremely important to learn early on as a developer to ensure you can use it while learning. I’m making a video on CLI and github that will go live this coming week to help beginners get acquainted with them both! Again, find my YouTube channel here!
Overview: Sprint Test Week 1 — HTML, CSS, and Github
Subview: Every Friday is test day or “sprint” day as Lambda Calls it.
The sprint challenge wasn’t too bad. It was more time consuming than anything but that’s not necessarily a bad thing! The test was pretty simple overall.
I think the test did a really good job of testing out knowledge of semantic HTML, CSS, and Github/Git. When I was in college, I remember thinking only about 1 in 5 tests were actually useful in testing all knowledge covered but with Lambda all of it was great. The next one might not be that way, the first though, was perfect!
Wrapping It Up
It was an amazing week and I can’t wait until next week to get back on the train! I’m considering becoming a PM (project manager) at Lambda myself after my first 15 weeks for the extra experience and exposure.
Week two will be up next Friday for the video on my channel and Saturday on Medium!